Driving and talking on the phone okay for police, but not the public
There are two sets of rules – one for drivers and another that allows police to do things for which they’d bust the rest of us.
I was driving west on Upper Gerrard St. about 1.30 p.m. Thursday when I pulled up behind a Toronto Police cruiser stopped at a traffic signal at Victoria Park Ave.
The light turned green and away we went, with me behind the cruiser. I soon noticed it was weaving a bit and going faster than traffic in the lane beside it.
I stopped again behind the cruiser at Gerrard and Main, but this time, I was wondering about the erratic driving, so I looked hard at the exterior mirror attached to the door on the driver’s side.
I could see in the mirror that the cop’s left hand was holding something up to his ear, and his mouth was moving. There was no one else in the car with him. It was clear that he was talking on his cell phone.
For the record, it was cruiser 5103, with Ontario license plate AYES 033.
We continued along towards Woodbine Ave., with me in the curb lane behind the cruiser, which hit speeds well above the 40 k/ph limit and continued to wander across the line between the curb and inner lanes.
He got into the left-turn to go south on Woodbine - the same direction I was going – and continued to hyold the phone to his ear through the turn and all the way down to Queen St., speeding up and slowing down for no apparent reason.
The officer finally ended the call south of Queen, where Woodbine curves to the west and become Lake Shore Blvd. I could see that he was no longer holding the phone to his ear. But he was on it again as soon as we got past Coxwell, which had me thinking he started dialing someone else as soon as he was done the first call.
We parted company at the on-ramp to the westbound Gardiner, where he veered right and stayed on Lake Shore, talking all the time and steering with one hand.
I’m no cop, but if I was, and the car in front of me was not a cruiser, I would have pulled the driver over and written him a ticket for distracted driving, which carries a fine that can range from $155 to $500.
I was tempted to try to get alongside of him and wag my finger, but I would have had to go at least 80 k/ph on the Lake Shore. I figured I’d be busted by an officer fishing for speeders with a radar gun. It’s happened to me before.
Which is why it is so annoying to watch a cop flagrantly ignore the rules he is sworn to enforce.
I know what he’d do if it was the other way around.